Accessibility in the cloud: The benefits and barriers - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Accessibility in the cloud: The benefits and barriers

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  1. Accessibility in the cloud: The benefits and barriers Dr Scott HOLLIER Presentation for OzeWAI November 2009

  2. Introduction • Cloud computing: what is it? • Benefits and barriers of the cloud • Addressing the cloud access issues • MAA and RMIT research initiative

  3. Access trends • Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard significantly improved access features • Netbooks cloud-focused • Free AT: NVDA and WebAnywhere • iPhone: many access features

  4. Cloud computing • Internet-based development and delivery of computing technologies • Removes the need for the user to worry about physical computing infrastructure

  5. Types of cloud computing • Software as a service (SaaS) • Platform as a service (PaaS): app creation • Database as a service • Utility computing (storage) • Web services: developer contribution • Managed: cloud task before user • Commerce platforms: SaaS + managed • Internet integration: all combined

  6. Popular cloud examples • Mainstream cloud generally refers to SaaS and Utility, although future PaaS and Integrated likely • Current examples: Google Apps, web-based e-mail, Apple MobileMe, Amazon Kindle • Future examples: Windows Azure, Chrome OS

  7. Benefits of the cloud • Device-independence: most accessible devices can be used to access the cloud • Ease of use: no need to worry about hardware issues • Data security: lost or stolen devices do not mean lost or stolen data • Affordability: netbooks, free AT and SaaS equal affordable computing

  8. Benefits of the cloud • Collaboration: • Overcome mobility issues • Disability perceived differently • Access to new services: health, education through NBN • Share experiences with family and friends • Crossover with social media (Google Docs)

  9. Barriers of the cloud • Broadband access poor • Steep learning curve • Data security: hacking potential 24/7, and can we really trust service providers?

  10. Barriers of the cloud • Accessibility of the cloud itself: • Extremely hit-and-miss • Is it web? Is it application? Research still needed on how to make cloud accessible • Closest standards: WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0 (draft), but not cloud-specific

  11. Addressing the issues • Broadband (NBN rollout) • Universal availability • Quality of service: speed, reliability • Regulation: broadband as essential service • Affordability: how will NBN pricing work? • Service offerings: clarity for bundle plans • Equipment: public kiosks for NBN access • Support programs: training

  12. Addressing the issues • Research initiatives for cloud access • Joint research between MAA and RMIT • Ultimate question: how can we provide cloud access to people with disabilities? • Work with both users and developers of the cloud and their respective technologies • Create metadata • Feed results into standards creation process

  13. Further information • Large collection of web resources: www.mediaaccess.org.au/newmedia • Advice is free • E-mail: scott.hollier@mediaaccess.org.au • Phone: (02) 9212 6242